BUFFALO, N.Y. — A New York State initiative aims to ensure that visitors to state parks are buckling their seat belts.
The Buckle Up New York Summer Parks Initiative attempts to inform state park visitors about the importance of wearing a seat belt, especially for young kids who require approved child safety seats.
The New York State Police, New York State Park Police, and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee are teaming up on this campaign, which began Saturday and ends August 10.
"As the summer travel season continues, the State Police and our partners strongly encourage the proper use of seat belts and child safety seats in motor vehicles," New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said in a statement.
"This is about protecting the smallest New Yorkers, our children. By simply buckling up, we can reduce severe injuries and deaths in motor vehicle crashes. We will continue to work diligently to promote proper seat belt use and compliance."
Data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reflects that seat belts remain an issue when driving. The data says that of 794 children who were killed in fatal crashes in 2017, 37 percent of them did not wear seat belts.
And among children who are 5 years old or younger, an estimated 325 lives were saved by seat belt use, according to the NHTSA.
"As we continue to open up recreational opportunities across the state, the safety of our visitors is our greatest priority," State Park Police Chief Mark VanWie said in a statement.
"Through our partnership with the New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies statewide, we will continue to educate and strictly enforce proper seat-belt usage, which will help to ensure a safe, enjoyable experience for all motorists entering or leaving our New York State Parks."